The Chart of the Week is a weekly Visual Capitalist feature on Fridays.
Blockchain can be an elusive concept. Its abstract nature leaves many wondering if this emerging technology is the global catalyst evangelists claim it to be.
But blockchain is more of a tool than a catalyst – not a one-size-fits-all, but a new foundation underpinning our everyday tasks. It offers industries a techno-driven facelift with its ability to increase productivity, ensure transparency, and reduce wasted time and paperwork.
Today’s graphic is inspired by a study McKinsey. Their research combines industry-by-industry analysis, expert interviews, and more than 90 distinct use cases to make informed estimates about the projected business value of the blockchain.
Blockchain’s core advantages revolve around its lack of central hub. The transparency of a distributed ledger combined with the cryptographic security of an immutable data chain makes this technology the ideal vehicle for businesses to exchange and validate information. It’s not a single system, but a baseline technology which can be configured in different ways to suit different purposes and business models.
Blockchain is still immature, and there are kinks to be worked out before the technology can scale effectively. Even so, it brings tremendous short term value to reduce costs and drive operational efficiencies.
BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESS VALUE
There are a few key areas where blockchain can add business value, even before broadscale adoption:
What if your business no longer had to pour profits into logistics, intermediaries, and an administrative paper trail? The blockchain can streamline supply chains, cutting out the middleman and banishing processes that slow efficiency and eat profits.
The blockchain breaks down administrative and collaborative barriers, making way for a innovative business strategies which simply weren’t feasible before the advent of distributed ledgers. With this new freedom, blockchain paves the way for new infrastructure and revenue models.
New business models provide the opportunity to meet previously overlooked needs of consumers and communities. In the medical field, where remote patient care and record-keeping may have been an issue in the past, blockchain advances provide ways to overcome those barriers using synchronised records and smart care devices on the network.
Blockchain is already making waves in financial services, government, and healthcare. Let’s take a glimpse at the way it could impact a few other industries:
Blockchain can transform the agricultural supply chain by streamlining the transition from farm to market, and quickly pinpointing sources in the event of food safety outbreaks. By reducing intermediaries, third world and small-scale farmers have an opportunity to join the supply chain.
Companies can spread their operations to more effectively take advantage of economies of scale, by using blockchain to streamline the supply chain. Blockchain can also improve ride-sharing platforms, spurring on the transport revolution.
Self-executing smart contracts and distributed databases can increase efficiency while reducing costs and risk of fraud.
BLOCKCHAIN FOR ALL
The sheer scope of blockchain’s potential uses means there’s something for almost everyone, from startups to major players.
The broad spectrum of use cases across industries might be why blockchain and crypto-related firms have raised almost $3.9 billion in venture capital in so far this year — a 280% rise compared to last year. The rise comes in an increasing number of deals, as well as the burgeoning median value of each.
How can your business forge a future in blockchain?